Monday, February 22, 2010


Yesterday I made my first sale on Etsy! Yay! I sold three potholders :) I've definitely got to stock my shop soon, so stay tuned!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Painting Again

This painting was fun from first inspiration to final glaze. I got sudden inspiration to sew a funnel in a canvas and tack it to the back of the frame - this way I would get a mysterious receding hole. Then somehow I felt like I had to have something funky growing out of this orifice. Then I thought about how I needed a Christmas gift for my brother and his wife - bingo!

I knew based on their tastes that the colors had to be dark and rich, plus I had gotten my SIL to give me her defective pottery to smash up for paintings - enter the lovely shards you see in the painting.

They are glued down, which was not my first pick on how to attach them. I had first tried "sewing" them down with some nylon thread, but it kept snapping against the sharp edges. I do want to try sewing chunky things to paintings in the future, but I have to make sure they're not sharp. I've been thinking about doing something like this since 2001 when I saw the huge chunks of colored glass (grapefruit sized) wrapped up in wire to form the garden gate at Peggy Guggenheim's museum in Venice. I really must figure out a way to wrap up cool treasures in ropes to form a loose painting surface...

I made the frame for this little painting out of the top bar of the bead curtain my sister gave me in college (I love having power tools handy). It gives a funky shape to the edges which adds to the assemblage feel.

I even signed this one. I usually don't like signing for some reason. I know a lot of artists have a problem viewing their work as a commodity to be sold, and that somehow money is unwelcome in the true creative process. I feel somewhat this way about signing my paintings. In a way, I feel like they are independent creations that transcend the need to be claimed. It seems to me that it would detract from thet piece - tie it down somehow to slap my name on them. What do you think? Does it lessen a work of contemporary art to have a signature? I get a self conscious feeling when I imagine people in museums looking at my painting and noticing my signature on the piece. I would MUCH rather have my name on a little white card next to it on the wall. Perhaps I'm still flenching after seeing so many cathedrals in Italy plastered names of the sponsors and artists. Doesn't the greatest art go beyond all that? But I digress.

The reason I signed this one is because it felt right and special when giving to my brother and SIL. I might feel more like signing my work generally if I can come up with a really cool way to do it. Albrecht Durer's signature is very cool - same initials as me...mmm....

The tree in this painting was really fun to sketch out and paint. I really allowed myself not to care so much about how this painting came together. When I allow myself to incorporate chance as part of the process, and to not worry so much that I overly control the work as it progresses, I find that the result is more satisfying and usually more visually stimulating. I like being surprised as I go - for example, I first painted in the tree with raw sienna because it was the first tube of paint I reached. Once I did the over painting with a dark mixture of blues and reds, I left a few slivers of the sienna to show giving an interesting detail when you look closely. I have some progress shots somewhere that I might post soon so you can see how it looked at various stages.

As much as I love oil paint, it is difficult to beat the instant gratification of acrylic. This is painted entirely with acrylic. It's fun to play with thinned down layers of color over texture. It was especially important to use in this piece because I had to travel with it very soon after I finished it :)

I like to think of this as a collaboration of sorts with my SIL. The pottery is so integral that it would be hard to imagine without it. I never thought of a title for this painting - that's another weakness of mine. I always feel REALLY self conscious about my titles. They either sound way too corny or they don't actually communicate anything important. I hope I can improve on this.
More to come soon!